Johnny Robinson (safety)

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Johnny Robinson
No. 42
Position:Safety / Flanker
Personal information
Born: (1938-09-09) September 9, 1938 (age 81)
Delhi, Louisiana
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
NFL Draft:1960 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3
AFL draft:1960 / Round: 1
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Interception yards:741
Defensive touchdowns:2
Offensive touchdowns:15
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Johnny Nolan Robinson (born September 9, 1938) is a former American football safety. He played college football at Louisiana State University (LSU).

Robinson played his entire career for the Dallas Texans / Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League (AFL) and later the National Football League (NFL). He led the AFL in interceptions with 10 in 1966, and led the NFL in 1970 with 10. He had 57 interceptions over his career. He is a 2019 inductee to the Pro Football Hall of Fame becoming the ninth member of the Chiefs Super Bowl IV championship team, including coach Hank Stram, to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Early life[edit]

He was an all-state football, tennis and baseball player in high school. Johnny became starting fullback in his freshman year at U-High. Robinson and his older brother, Tommy, won the national boys junior tennis championship when they were at University High School at LSU where their father, Dub Robinson, was the longtime (40 years) LSU tennis coach.

College career[edit]

Robinson committed to play football at LSU after school where he was a member of the national championship-winning 1958 LSU Tigers football team.

Also while at LSU, he won the SEC tennis championship in singles and SEC doubles championship with his brother Tommy.

Professional career[edit]

Robinson was drafted by the Dallas Texans (renamed the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963) in the 1st round of the 1960 AFL Draft. He was also selected 3rd overall by the Detroit Lions in the 1960 NFL Draft. He was a member of the Texans in their 1962 20–17 double-overtime victory over the two-time defending AFL Champion Houston Oilers in the longest professional football league championship game ever played. He played in Super Bowl I in 1967. In Super Bowl IV, the underdog Chiefs defeated the Minnesota Vikings, 23–7. Late in the first half, Robinson picked up a Minnesota fumble and made an interception in the second half to help seal the win.

During his first two years in the AFL, Robinson played flanker on offense, rushing for 658 yards on 150 carries and had 1,228 receiving yards on 77 receptions, as well as 15 total touchdowns. He was moved to safety after his second year and continued as a standout safety for ten of his twelve years. His last game came on Christmas Day 1971, when the Chiefs lost to the Miami Dolphins 24–27 after 22 minutes, 40 seconds of overtime. He suffered a career ending injury that game. The game remains (through the 2017 NFL season) the longest game in NFL history. That contest was also the Chiefs' last game in Kansas City's Municipal Stadium. Robinson thus played in the sport's longest championship game in 1962 and in its absolute longest game, each game closing out professional football in its respective stadium.

Robinson retired in the summer of 1972 prior to training camp after playing for twelve years.


Robinson was a seven-time First Team All-AFL / All-Pro and three-time Second Team All-AFL / ALL-Pro selection who played Super Bowl IV with three broken ribs. Robinson also played in Super Bowl I making nine tackles that game. Five times the interception leader of the Chiefs, Robinson redefined the role of safety in Professional Football, according to the Jack Kemp and John Hadl. A member of the All-time All-AFL Team and one of only twenty players who were in the American Football League for its entire ten-year existence, he was a member of a team that won three division titles, three league championships and a World Championship. The Chiefs had a 35–1–1 record in games that Robinson made an interception. He intercepted in all three AFL championship games and Super Bowl IV for victories. The winningest player in American Football League history, his team never lost to the Raiders, Chargers, Oilers, Broncos, Patriots, Jets or Dolphins when Robinson made an interception. Robinson is an inductee of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. On August 17, 2018, Robinson was selected as Senior Committee Nominee for the 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction class.[1] He was elected into the Hall Of Fame in February 2019.[2] [3] Inconceivably, Robinson, one of the premier defensive backs in the history of Professional Football, was not selected to the Hall of Fame until his 43rd year of eligibility, even though he outshone others at that position with lesser credentials who had long before been selected. This injustice is attributed to the decades-long bias of NFL-oriented selectors against players from the American Football League.


Season League Team Games Int Yds TDs Long
1960 AFL Dallas Texans 14 - - - -
1961 AFL Dallas Texans 14 - - - -
1962 AFL Dallas Texans 14 4 25 0 20
1963 AFL Kansas City Chiefs 14 3 41 0 19
1964 AFL Kansas City Chiefs 10 2 17 0 17
1965 AFL Kansas City Chiefs 14 5 99 0 50
1966 AFL Kansas City Chiefs 14 10 136 1 29
1967 AFL Kansas City Chiefs 14 5 17 0 10
1968 AFL Kansas City Chiefs 14 6 40 0 16
1969 AFL Kansas City Chiefs 14 8 158 0 33
1970 NFL Kansas City Chiefs 14 10 155 0 57
1971 NFL Kansas City Chiefs 14 4 53 0 29
Career AFL/NFL Texans/Chiefs 164 57 741 1 57


Charity work[edit]

Robinson founded (1980) and operates a youth home (Johnny Robinson's Boys Home) for troubled boys in Monroe, Louisiana, and has been a long-time supporter of children's causes.[5]


  2. ^ "Thrilled to say just got word".
  3. ^ "Chiefs all-time great Robinson elected to Hall of Fame".
  4. ^ "Johnny Robinson AFL & NFL Football Statistics". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 31, 2016.
  5. ^ Hilburn, Chet (2012). The Mystique of Tiger Stadium: 25 Greatest Games: The Ascension of LSU Football. Bloomington, Indiana: WestBow Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-4497-5269-9.